In the picture pen with Walt

After arriving back home from Denver from the National Western Stock Show, I decided personally want to share a few comments about a great individual from the past. That person is Walt Brownary from Canada. The first time I had the privilege of meeting this exceptional individual was in the 80’s working for Breck Ellison Farms. We had Walt scheduled to come state side to Tennessee to take pictures for an upcoming sale. This was our first experience with Walt however I and several others were quite excited about the fact of someone of this magnitude taking professional pictures. So we didn’t really know what to expect. This was in a time when they were limited individuals in this profession and Walt was considered the best in the business.

The day he arrived, we all looked over the site and the cattle to be pictured. I, along with the picture crew had everything in place and the process happened over the next day or two. At the conclusion of the pictures we had a different opinion of  this process and felt, “Why is this man so picky and so hard to please?” After that first session, Walt made numerous trips to Tennessee and he always explained to us about the sun, the shadows, the angles and the picture pen. He even explained about the summer and winter equinox and the position of the picture pen. I will have to say I learned something from Walt each time I was around him over the years. Now remember this all happened in a different era and way before everything went digital.

In my travels over the years and after the dispersal of Breck Ellison Farms I traveled as a sale consultant in Canada and our paths crossed at many sales across Canada. Each year Walt was hired to take all the sale photos at Bar 5. He always took time to visit and share ideas about the seed stock business and more importantly the people. The most important and interesting trip was a trip in eastern Canada during the Ontario weekend of sales.  Walt was on this trip and had his faithful camera. To this day, I have not seen any of those pictures. A few in attendance on that trip which involved a boat was Ken Lewis, Terry Cowan, Tim and Derri Massey, Doug Nimmo, Frank Mapletoft, Danny O’Brein and a few others.

Over the past 40 years it was like a huge honor and privilege to have your animal photographed by Walt. Today we know that Walt is no longer with us however his legacy his carried on by his company that he developed and his son, Allan. I always admired Walt and his passion about the business. So each year as I add up the years of going to Denver, I always make a point to stop, shake hands and even hug Allan Brownary. Brownary Photography is definitely the role model in the business of seed stock photography. The technology has rapidly advanced in the last several years however the industry owes a “Big Thanks to Walt and Allan plus the rest of the Show Champions team. A leader in the industry.

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